2.3 Gender: Cultural Diversity

Gender diversity has been a part of many indigenous cultures. Respecting people’s cultural identity is just as important as respecting their gender identity. Take a look at the following scenario:

La’ei has recently moved into the area and is looking for a new GP. You have been asked to make an initial assessment. La’ei is fa’afafine, recently moved from Samoa 1 month ago. She is looking for a new GP for oestrogen prescription.“

Many health professionals may not be familiar with working with transgender or gender diverse individuals. As such, it might be challenging for them to navigate with confidence the correct terminology. Gender identity is protected by law and as such discrimination against transgender and gender diverse individuals in clinical setting could be unlawful. It is therefore extremely important for clinicians to have basic communication skills with transgender and gender diverse patients in order for them to provide accessible healthcare.

In the following section, we’ll develop some of your clinical skills when treating trans and gender diverse patients.

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